Dustin Poirier fires back at Justin Gaethje as he dismisses retirement saying 'I'm not walking away'

  • Tom Ward
Dustin Poirier fires back at Justin Gaethje as he dismisses retirement saying 'I'm not walking away'

Dustin Poirier has rubbished Justin Gaethje‘s suggestion he could be about to retire from mixed martial arts as he reckons his fellow American is just trying to generate headlines. 

Former interim champion Poirier is set to face Charles Oliveira for the lightweight crown on December 11 at UFC 269. 

The Lafayette native is arguably in the best form of his career, having won six of his last seven fights, including a fourth-round knockout of Gaethje in April 2018. 

But it has not stopped Gaethje from wondering if the two will ever meet again.  

He told MMA Fighting that the 32-year-old is still haunted by the memories of that fateful night as ‘he was probably in the most pain of his f***ing life’. 

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In response, Poirier said: “It’s enticing, it makes people interested, it’s a hook, he’s hoping I bite onto it and beat [Charles] Oliveira and, ‘Ah, Gaethje, I’ve got to give it to him now because he’s the one running his mouth,’ 

“That’s the way this game is. People talk and try to set things up. Play the hands that they have, and that’s what he’s doing.

“Good on him. I’m a fan of him. I have nothing bad to say about the guy, but I beat him that night in his home town. What else can I say?”

Dustin Poirier celebrates after beating Conor McGregor

Poirier also boasts not one but two wins over former two-division champ, Conor McGregor. He made well over six figures for both fights, with a fourth all but guaranteed to happen in the future. 

Asked if he is seriously contemplating retirement, Poirier responded: “Nah, man – I’m a fighter.

“I’m fortune [sic] enough now, with this year that I’ve had, I could walk away.”

He added: “It’s a great position to be in, but these guys need a**-whoopings, and I’m the guy to give it to them.

“And we can’t walk away like that. I’m not walking away. I’m a young man in his prime.”

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Either way, Poirier says he isn’t thinking that ‘far ahead’, as he insists he has more than enough to deal with Oliveira.  

He continued: “I honestly don’t think that far ahead into it, because I have my hands full.

“But Gaethje, this is one fight since the title fight, so obviously he’s still the No. 2 ranked guy. Islam [Makhachev] is on a huge streak. It’s not my call.

“Maybe Islam needs to fight one more top contender, and then he’s next. Maybe Gaethje should fight Islam, that way they settle it. That’s the beautiful thing about fighting.”

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